BA&SH After Hours: I Do Yoga & Drink Tequila...

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I have long since been a fan of ba&sh, the French fashion brand which allows us to access that effortless Parisian style we all covet, with a welcome twist of California cool, on our very own British high streets. 

Season after season, their never-out-of-style, fresh and floaty bohemian aesthetic, with its touch of rock and roll, urban chic, is the direct result of a beautiful friendship between Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief.  Fifteen years ago these life-long, joined-at-the-hip besties decided to create the now hugely popular lifestyle brand, filled with feminine and timeless wardrobe must-haves fit for any occasion.  

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I was really excited to be given the opportunity to help spread the good word about ba&sh’s first yoga capsule collection, a collaboration with Ana Hart, a young brand co-designed by interior designer and yogini Amanda Ibgui, and her former yoga teacher and mentor Rachel Novetsky

On the first properly sunny day of the year, surrounded by show-stopping, instagram-worthy blossom trees in a nearby private Notting Hill garden (all so very "Whoopsie Daisy," Richard Curtis), I wore some of the pieces to a Jivamukti yoga class with the fabulous Dannii Jordana from the famed Sangye Yoga School.

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The perfect balance of ba&sh’s natural fabrics and feminine styles, alongside the technical support of Ana Hart’s designs, has made for a unique, contemporary and super soft collection with a deliciously cheeky edge.  In fact, the hero t’shirt I wore might just sum up ba&sh in une nutshell; 'I do yoga and drink tequila.' 

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Above:  Wearing the ba&sh x Ana Hart Kloe leggings and Moove T'shirt.

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Above:  Wearing the ba&sh x Ana Hart Moti T'shirt.

This capsule collection is created for women that love to keep fit and healthy, but also like to have a little (or a lotta) fun… Ladies who balance out their green juices with their cocktails and their warrior poses with their table dancing… Which sounds an awful lot like many of my friends!

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Speaking of my friends… I was thrilled when ba&sh invited a group of my nearest and dearest along to a special ‘After Hours’ drinks party at my local Westbourne Grove store, where I introduced them to not only the new yoga capsule collection, but also to the latest ba&sh Spring/Summer’18 designs

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Above:  Hosting my friends wearing the ethereal, metallic Pipa Dress.

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As suspected, it didn’t take my buddies long to get well acquainted with the stunning ba&sh designs (or some of the first rosé of the summer), and most predictably, shopping bags were soon filled with some seriously enviable wardrobe additions. 

Complimentary hugs were issued with every ba&sh purchase... 

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Soon after we piled into cars which took us to a private apartment on Golborne Road, my favourite road in my neighbourhood, where a sumptuous vegetarian feast and a plethora of cocktails awaited us, beside an edit of my favourite ba&sh Spring/Summer’18 pieces.  

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Each of my guests also found gifts from the ba&sh x Ana Hart yoga collection on their seats, and took home posies which made up the beautiful bouquets around the room. 

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The entire night felt dreamy; like a birthday celebration (or in my case, a 'Kellybration') where you got to enjoy all the feels without having to turn another dreaded year older…!  I loved seeing so many of my girlfriends and my energy and love levels were sooooaring (more hugs, anyone?! Anyone?!!)

Merci ba&sh for such a spoiling evening. xx

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In collaboration with ba&sh
Yoga Photography: Frances Davison
Catering and Floristry: The Hill Food Company
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

Kiki McDonough's Jemima Collection

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If there is one thing I share in common with London-based jeweller Kiki McDonough, aside from us both clearly being magpies, its our love of COLOUR. Kiki’s kaleidoscopic use of gemstones, coupled with her amazing eye for detail, result in the most stunning statement pieces you’ll triumphantly treasure for maaaaany years to come.  

With a father and grandfather both involved in the antique jewellery industry, jewellery design might have seemed an obvious route for Kiki McDonough to have taken. However, at this time, there were very few people designing everyday investment pieces, ones which could be worn everyday, and for any occasion.  Designing show-stopping yet wearable designs soon became Kiki’s aim, and this more modern view of jewellery, alongside her love of unique, bold colour combinations, soon placed Kiki at the forefront of British jewellery design, a pedestal where she has comfortably perched for over thirty years.  

The idea of wearing your most precious jewels, your ‘Sunday Best’ sparklers, on a random Tuesday, with jeans and a ‘just ‘cos’ attitude, appeals to me hugely.  Not to be too fatalistic, but given we never know what is just around the corner, why save the enjoyment of wearing our most beloved possessions for such rare occasions? I used to save certain dresses and shoes for special events, and now I basically do the washing up in ball gowns! Likewise, Kiki McDonough’s spectacular jewels are without doubt meant to be cherished, but they are also meant to be worn – and on all occasions!

The theme of this contemporary opulence has extended into Kiki McDonough’s latest Jemima Collection, designed in collaboration with their ambassador, Jemima Jones. Inspired by their mutual love of Rome, taking inspiration from the city’s beautiful architecture, culture, style and history, this collection is characterised by the the Ancient Roman’s everyday use of striking patterns and colourful gemstones.

Being able to adorn myself one afternoon in Kiki McDonough's striking Jemima Collection was beyond a pleasure! The designs comprise four chunky rings, six chain bracelets, six pairs of earrings, and nine pendants, all in beautifully contrasting and unique gemstone variations, including Lemon Quartz, Green Amethyst, Lavender Amethyst, Blue Topaz and White Topaz. There is definitely a style to suit everyone, but being the maximalist I am, I couldn’t just stop at just one… My initial response was to stack various combinations of these beauties all together, which I wore for a sunny afternoon wander about my Notting Hill neighbourhood, to Albert’s Club (below) later that evening, and for some very bleary eyed meetings the next day…!  The results were all equally as breath taking.

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Yes, these Kiki McDonough pieces do push the usual self-imposed spending boundaries of my ‘treat ‘yo’self’ guidelines (the Jemima Collection is upwards of £1900.00) but when you consider the amount of wear (and compliments) each piece will garner over the years, I feel decidedly more confident of recommending these investments.  So yeah, go on, treat yo’self (and me, please...?! Merci, mon cheri!)

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The Jemima Collection is available to buy online, and from Kiki McDonough’s flagship Chelsea shop.

In Collaboration with Kiki McDonough

Notting Hill Photographs:  Ella Sadika

South Kensington Photographs: Eva Salvi 

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

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(Click on the images for direct links)

Boden Icons Summer 2017

If you haven’t heard about Boden Icons before, you are to be entirely forgiven, mainly because the hero pieces of each of the limited edition, capsule collections usually sell out within minutes, with a good 90% of all stock having found happy homes within mere days!  Last season I had my beady eyes on a beautiful, cream embroidered skirt, and when I was inevitably too slow off the mark and missed out, I vowed to be more prepared this time round!

When I previewed the Boden Icons collection a few months back, it was the embroidered Rita Skirt which really stood out for me.  The stunning, intricate embroidery (also found on the skirt’s matching Rita Jacket), was inspired by a vintage jacket discovered in Portobello Market last year, so I felt it only, my new Boden Icons suede Martha Heels in hand, to hit those same streets of Notting Hill, to give it its first lil'shimmy...

This more premium and unique, 24 piece Boden Icons collection was inspired by the 1920’s and is all exquisitely crafted by hand. Each piece is really individual and regardless whether you prefer something structured, flowy, lacey or ruffled, there will be something here to turn your head... Just be quick - Only a few hundred of each item have been produced!

Above:  Wearing a Walton Gold Russian Wedding Ring (RRP. £295.00) and the 9ct Gold Satao bracelet (RRP. £140.00) from my Tembo Collection with Auree Jewellery (100% profits of entire collection go to For Rangers and wildlife conservation across Africa - See More Here), with the Angled Marble Gold Cuff (RRP. £155.00) and Totem Gold Cuff (RRP. £135.00) by Edge of Ember.

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Shop the full Boden Icons Summer 2017 Collection HERE.

The 48th Notting Hill Carnival

My favourite day to attend The Notting Hill Carnival each year is on the Sunday, traditionally known as Children’s Day.  I find the atmosphere on this day always more relaxed… That is, if you could ever find thousands of feathered, sparkly, face-painted children, a multitude of banging steal drums, and around one million revelers attending Europe’s biggest annual street party, at all relaxing... 
Whilst weaving my way through the streets (crocodile style!) with my friends, I saw this boy (below & top) balanced perfectly on a Pay and Display metre, dancing to the resounding sound of reggae music being blasted out from a nearby soundsystem. Super impressive!

Lowry Baker

Yesterday my friend suggested we meet for brunch at Lowry and Baker at the end of the Portobello Road.
“Where?” I asked.
"Don’t you know it?” she replied.
No. I don’t. And I instantly get the feeling that I should. (I was right.)

Lowry and Baker, a one-roomed café with outdoor tables, near the Golborne Road, opened in 2010 and has a very loyal local fan base – who are pretty damn protective (one customer told me not to take photos… evidently incase the details of their secret sanctuary and refuge from the closeby chaos of Portobello were to ever be revealed.)

Coffees and a gorgeous menu of homemade food are served on mismatched crockery laid on wonderful, eclectic furniture (the lady next to me outside is eating some lavender shortbread off a child’s school desk.) I had the poached eggs with crushed avocado and parma ham on sourdough. Angels sang.

During my feast 3 friends of mine walked out… Errrrm… Does everyone know about this place?? Well they do now. Sorry locals - It’s time to play nicely and share.

Pizza East Meets West

The ever-expanding Soho House Group has once again added to its empire, this time with Pizza East Portobello, the sibling to Pizza East Shoreditch. Towards the end of Portobello Road, the restored Georgian pub is now a light, airy, hip New York style restaurant, takeaway and deli.

With wooden floors and antique café style furniture, the atmosphere is laid back and perfect for dinner with friends; its been an instant hit with the Yummy Mummies and Beautiful Young Things of Notting Hill.

I visited last night with my girlfriend Beatrice - we met early for a school-like tumbler of prosecco, some green olives and a good gossip before her husband and Jack joined us. 3 tumblers later (they were late!) we were ready to attack the menu. Despite their wood-fired Pizza being the obvious lure (toppings include crispy pork belly, tomato and mushroom) it was the antipasto menu I found truly delicious and would recommend.